Please read here on how to use images on RoyalDish. - Please read the RoyalDish message on board purpose and rules.
Images containing full nudity or sexual activities are strongly forbidden on RoyalDish.


Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece  (Read 37912 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Suzerain

Warned
Humongous Member
**********

Reputation: 1502

Offline Offline

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Posts: 5602


Princess Gollumina wants her precioussss




Ignore
« on: January 25, 2013, 04:40:02 PM »

I just realized there hasn't yet been a thread about Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh's mother Princess Alice of Battenberg, later Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark.



http://en.wikipedia.org/w...ncess_Alice_of_Battenberg

She was a very interesting woman and I first got interested in her and her life when I bought this book by Hugo Vickers: http://www.amazon.com/Ali...ugo-Vickers/dp/0312302398

Here's what the book description says:

Quote
“In 1953, at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Alice was dressed from head to foot in a long gray dress and a gray cloak, and a nun’s veil. Amidst all the jewels, and velvet and coronets, and the fine uniforms, she exuded an unworldly simplicity. Seated with the royal family, she was a part of them, yet somehow distanced from them. Inasmuch as she is remembered at all today, it is as this shadowy figure in gray nun’s clothes...”

Princess Alice, mother of Prince Phillip, was something of a mystery figure even within her own family. She was born deaf, at Windsor Castle, in the presence of her grandmother, Queen Victoria, and brought up in England, Darmstadt, and Malta.

In 1903 she married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, and from then on her life was overshadowed by wars, revolutions, and enforced periods of exile. By the time she was thirty-five, virtually every point of stability was overthrown. Though the British royal family remained in the ascendant, her German family ceased to be ruling princes, her two aunts who had married Russian royalty had come to savage ends, and soon afterwards Alice's own husband was nearly executed as a political scapegoat.

The middle years of her life, which should have followed a conventional and fulfilling path, did the opposite. She suffered from a serious religious crisis and at the age of forty-five was removed from her family and placed in a sanitarium in Switzerland, where she was pronounced a paranoid schizophrenic. As her stay in the clinic became prolonged, there was a time where it seemed she might never walk free again. How she achieved her recovery is just one of the remarkable aspects of her story.

There was already some talk about Alice in the Will & Kate news thread, I believe, but let's continue here!
Logged

The Rally Prince driving (yes, it's really him)...
debbydeb

Gigantic Member
*********

Reputation: 1017

Offline Offline

Indonesia Indonesia

Posts: 3716





Ignore
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 04:56:10 PM »

Oh Thank you!
I'd give you a  Star but they said I've used my quota. I shall give you one tomorrow, I promise! Thank you! I shall definitely keep an eye on this thread. I'm quite obsessed now, it seems.

I've been traversing youtube and found these videos:
"Prince Andrew and Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark"
a fanmade video by lostsplendour [youtube channel]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAOh570-lA4

"The Queen's Mother in Law"
a documentary by Channel 4 [youtube channel]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbnIHHZOwGc
(which unfortunately I can't access from my country. I am trying now with proxies and the torrent bay  Sweating)

"What can you say of a nun that smokes and plays Canasta?"  Laugh bounce

« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 05:27:34 PM by debbydeb » Logged
sinners23

Small Member
****

Reputation: 77

Offline Offline

Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Republic of

Posts: 463





Ignore
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 05:11:38 PM »

There was a great documentary on Channel 4 about here a couple of months ago.She was a remarkable women her work with Greek Jews during the war she also hid a Jewish family in her house in Greece when the country was occupied.On top of that she suffered from deafness and was also said to be suffering schizophreinia. Prince Philip and her remaining descendants should be proud of the guts she had during the war.
Logged

"For there is nothing either good or bad,thinking makes it so"
   William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Hamlet
debbydeb

Gigantic Member
*********

Reputation: 1017

Offline Offline

Indonesia Indonesia

Posts: 3716





Ignore
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 05:18:48 PM »

Collecting all the Princess Alice anecdotes from the W+K subsection, just so I can come here and re-read the stories Smiley I think I've found another favorite Royal to obsess about.  Hug

But Prince Philip's Mother was definitely in the picture of Elizabeth and Philip's marriage until she passed away. She provided the diamonds for Elizabeth's engagement ring from a tiara she had in a bank vault.  Elizabeth and Philip pretty much completely financially supported her (Princess Andrew of Greece nee Princess Alice of Battenberg) since their wedding, including her attempts at keeping the convent she'd founded open and when she became elderly, she lived with them until her death.  There's a sweet story about how Philip couldn't talk his Mum into moving into Buck House, until he said, "but Lilibet wants you to come".  Alice immediately dropped any objections and told her son that she would start packing!

Supposedy, Princess Anne and Prince Edward especially adored their paternal Granny, whose arrival around BP was preceded by tons of cigarette smoke and coughing (she even chain smoked while a nun, LOL).  Maybe this is where Will and Harry received the tobbaco-loving gene?  Roll Eyes

Princess Alice founded the order to which she belonged and indeed was Mother Superior and responsible for almost all the group's funding.  Young Queen Elizabeth II is said to have joked often about the expensives involving her and Philip's mother's.  "Oh." She'd say. "I know all about mothers and mothers in law.  I have my
Mother with her castles (Castle of Mey) and my mother and law and her nuns".  Apparently the way she said it was quite funny and she repeated the line many times during that time period.

I love the stories of Princess Alice, she was an amazing woman, for all of her health and mental health issues as well. She was a righteous among nations, a great honor given by Israel to less than 200 people, and named a hero of the holacaust by the Britisih government.

Philip and his living sister went to attend the ceremony and was quoted to say "I suspect that it never occurred to her that her action was in any way special. She was a person with a deep religious faith, and she would have considered it to be a perfectly natural human reaction to fellow beings in distress." She would go out after curfew into the streets, and feed the poor and anyone else she found, even though she could have been shot, as well as what she did for the Cohen family.

She had a real sense of humor. She wanted to be burried next to her aunt, Grand Duchess Elizabeth (a saint) on the hill of olives. When her daughter complained about it being too far to come visit, she joked 'Nonsense, there's perfectly good bus services'. She was later burried there.

and from Amazon.com reviews:
Quote
"Among the more memorable images he captures: the ill-fated Czar Nicholas of Russia, who was married to Alice's Aunt Alix, pelting his niece with a bag of rice and a shoe at her 1903 wedding. Never one to shrink from a challenge, Alice caught the shoe and used it to hit her uncle on the head."
Logged
debbydeb

Gigantic Member
*********

Reputation: 1017

Offline Offline

Indonesia Indonesia

Posts: 3716





Ignore
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 06:15:00 PM »

A Write-up in the Daily Mail, relating to the Channel 4 documentary:

The other Queen mother: She spent two years in an asylum, then became a nun. A new documentary explores the unconventional life of the Queen’s mother-in-law, Princess Alice

written by Mary Greene

Quote
Look closely at newsreels of the Coronation, and you might glimpse the solitary, upright figure of a nun in grey habit and veil, walking behind the procession.

Seated with the Royal Family, her unworldly simplicity set her apart. But how many people today would recognise Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece... the Queen’s mother-in-law?

She survived revolution and exile, mental breakdown and religious mania, evincing great personal courage to protect a Jewish family during the war – before turning her back on the trappings of royal life to become a nun.

Alice was a loving mother but enforced separation from her young son helped to forge Prince Philip’s self-reliant, sometimes cussedly independent spirit. Now, a Channel 4 documentary, The Queen’s Mother In Law, featuring previously unseen footage and interviews with Alice’s nieces – Prince Philip’s cousins – tells the forgotten story of the Queen’s most unconventional relative.

She was born Princess Alice of Battenberg in 1885 at Windsor Castle, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and raised as an English princess, although both her parents were German.

Alice was congenitally deaf but she could speak clearly. Photographs show how beautiful she was, with her upswept hair and lace gowns.

Then in 1902, at the Coronation of King Edward VII, she fell head over heels in love with Prince Andrew, a younger son of the King of Greece. As her niece, Lady Pamela Hicks, explains, ‘She was absolutely dotty about him. Really, deeply in love.’

By 1914 Alice had four daughters. But in Greece, revolution was brewing, and shortly after Prince Philip was born in 1921, the Greek royal family were exiled.

Aged 18 months, the future Duke of Edinburgh was bundled into a makeshift cot – an orange crate – as the family escaped on a British warship.

They arrived in Paris as refugees, living on handouts from relatives. The strain took its toll on Alice, and her impassioned religious beliefs became steadily more eccentric.

By 1930 she was hearing voices and believed she was having physical relationships with Jesus and other religious figures.

She was diagnosed as schizophrenic, and when treatment in a Berlin clinic failed – on the advice of Sigmund Freud her womb was blasted with X-rays to cure her of frustrated sexual desires – she was admitted to a Swiss sanatorium.

On the day she left, the nine-year-old Prince Philip was taken out by his grandmother for a picnic. When he returned, his mother had gone. ‘It was literally a car and men in white coats, coming to take her away,’ explains Alice’s biographer Hugo Vickers.

She remained a prisoner there for two and a half years. ‘It was rather hushed up,’ explains Alice’s niece Countess Mountbatten, 88. ‘I think my aunt would have suffered very much.’

Although the couple never divorced, Alice was effectively abandoned by her playboy husband Prince Andrew, who went to live on the French Riviera with his mistress.

Prince Philip was now homeless, spending boarding school holidays with various relatives, including his uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten, father of Countess Mountbatten. She recalls that when Philip visited them one Christmas, he signed his name in the visitors’ book and gave his address as ‘no fixed abode’.

When Alice was eventually released from the sanatorium in 1932, she became a lonely drifter, staying in modest German B&Bs. Almuth Reuter, whose mother  ran a boarding house in Cologne, remembers their unusual guest.

‘She used to sit on the terrace, staring up into the sky,’ Almuth recalls. ‘One day, I asked Alice, “What are you looking at?” and she said, “St Barbara.” I sat in her lap, she took me in her arms and said, “Just like my son, my Philip.”’

Mother and son were not to meet again until tragic circumstances forced them together, reuniting in 1937 at the funeral of Philip’s sister Cécilie, who’d died in a plane crash at the age of 26.

 Alice wanted Philip, now 16, to live with her in Athens (the Greek monarchy having been restored in 1935). But Philip’s future lay in the Royal Navy. And by 1941, Alice was stranded in Nazi-occupied Greece.

Her brother, Lord Mountbatten, sent food parcels – which she gave to the needy. Then, for more than a year, she hid a Jewish family on the top floor of her house, only yards from Gestapo headquarters. When the Gestapo became suspicious, Alice made her deafness an excuse for not answering their questions.

When she was posthumously honoured as Righteous Among The Nations – the highest Israeli honour to non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust – Prince Philip said, ‘She would have considered it a natural reaction to fellow beings in distress.’

After the war, diamonds from Alice’s tiara were reset so Philip had an engagement ring to present to Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen. Alice sold the rest of her jewels to found her own religious order, the Christian Sisterhood Of Martha And Mary, in 1949 and built a convent and orphanage in a poor suburb of Athens. Her family was sceptical.

Countess Mountbatten says, ‘I remember my grandmother [Alice’s mother] saying, “Whoever heard of an abbess who smoked and played canasta?”’

When there was a Greek military coup in 1967, Alice refused to budge from Athens until Prince Philip sent a plane, along with a special request from the Queen, to bring her home.

The Queen gave her mother-in-law a room in Buckingham Palace. Prince Philip’s biographer Gyles Brandreth says, ‘They say you could always tell when she was coming along the corridor because of the whiff of Woodbines in the air. The idea of the Duke of Edinburgh’s mum, dressed as a nun, sucking on her Woodbine… it’s wonderful!’

Shortly before Alice died in 1969, she wrote to her only son, whose childhood had been so scarred by her absence, ‘Dearest Philip, Be brave, and remember I will never leave you, and you will always find me when you need me most. All my devoted love, your old Mama.’
Sad

« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 06:40:39 PM by debbydeb » Logged
winterrose

Baby Member
*

Reputation: 17

Offline Offline

Canada Canada

Posts: 65





Ignore
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 08:47:26 PM »

I read the Hugo Vicker's biography of Princess Alice and I found that since it was authorized by Prince Philip it was a bit white-washed.  For instance, when Alice went to the sanatorium, her marriage with Andrew was pretty much over.  However the book claims that Andrew didn't become a playboy, but just couldn't deal with Alice's illness anymore. 

There was only a small mention about how Alice's daughters had married Nazis.  It was literally one line. 

And my dislike for Louis Mountbatten (Alice's brother) continues from reading this biography.  Louis didn't play that big of role in the upbringing of Philip, instead it was Philip's grandmother (Victoria, the Marchioness of Milford Haven), his other uncle (George Mountbatten), and his sisters.  It was only until George's death in 193 that Louis become more involved with Philip.  Also, when Alice's sister Louise (the Queen of Sweden, married to the current King of Sweden's grandfather) asked Louis which should she do with letters from Alice, especially during her mental health issues, Louis said destroy them.  But did Louis do with his letters regarding Alice.  He kept them, and then allowed them to be released to the public.  The only one good thing about Louis I could say is that his wife supported Alice because she was the one with the money. 

Another interesting point I found in the biography was that the current King of Greece (Constantine II) preferred his Aunt Elena (the mother of Princess Marina) to his Aunt Alice.  I guess it was only until his exile that he tried to do more to latch himself to the BRF. 
Logged
editorathome
Board Helper
Most Exalted Member
************

Reputation: 1775

Offline Offline

Bouvet Island Bouvet Island

Posts: 13236





Ignore
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 09:05:03 PM »

Thanks, Suzerain, for starting this thread Star
Princess Alice certainly had an interesting/sad life. I think I've read (not sure where; don't think it was at RD) that HM was extremely fond of her MIL, and got on better with her than she did with her own mother. Anyone know if this was the case?
Also, to expand the scope of the thread a bit, does Philip/the BRF have continuing relationships w/his own family? I know he just attended the funeral of his niece Princess Margarita of Baden, but he must have many German nieces/nephews---I wonder if he/HM maintain any sort of genuine relationship with them?
Logged
tigerben
Board Helper
Humongous Member
************

Reputation: 2129

Offline Offline

Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Republic of

Posts: 5538





Ignore
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 09:16:56 PM »

A interesting life Alice had , a full book of life's hardships, sorrows , happiness , contentment and true to self till the end. It was perhaps in those days a good thing, this stiff upper lip, if Philip had the life now being a child, he'd wouldn't stand a chance.Owe you a  Star suzerain , as the star from yesterday had to be given today due to lovely karma!
Logged
Suzerain

Warned
Humongous Member
**********

Reputation: 1502

Offline Offline

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Posts: 5602


Princess Gollumina wants her precioussss




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 09:47:02 PM »

Thank you all!  Smiley I thought she would be an interesting topic here, not the most ordinary royal at all but one who didn't make a big number out of her status.

I must confess I don't remember if I read the entire book through...  Thinking Maybe it's been a while and that is why I cannot remember. I think I have to re-read it now. I do remember it had some nice anecdotes about Alice in it. I wonder if there has been any other books written about her. I got the impression of a very independent woman who didn't care much about tiaras and jewellery and all that stuff. There are some photographs of her wearing tiaras and diamonds but if I remember correctly if she could avoid wearing things like that, she would skip it. The character of Prince Andrew was left somewhat dim on my mind, I don't really know much about him as a person. If the rumours are true, it seems Lilibet named her own son pretty accurately...  Roll Eyes
Logged

The Rally Prince driving (yes, it's really him)...
Suzerain

Warned
Humongous Member
**********

Reputation: 1502

Offline Offline

Heard Island and McDonald Islands Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Posts: 5602


Princess Gollumina wants her precioussss




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 09:54:55 PM »

Alice was so pretty, and a beautiful bride




Logged

The Rally Prince driving (yes, it's really him)...
sinners23

Small Member
****

Reputation: 77

Offline Offline

Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Republic of

Posts: 463





Ignore
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 10:12:47 PM »

Suzerain Star for starting the topic about a great women
Logged

"For there is nothing either good or bad,thinking makes it so"
   William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Hamlet
editorathome
Board Helper
Most Exalted Member
************

Reputation: 1775

Offline Offline

Bouvet Island Bouvet Island

Posts: 13236





Ignore
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 11:02:32 PM »

I've never seen those photos, Suzerain ( Star when time allows). She was quite beautiful.
Logged
bumbershoot

Warned
Gigantic Member
*********

Reputation: 674

Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 3176





Ignore
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2013, 02:14:25 AM »

In one of the videos about her that is to be found on YouTube, there are several moments in which it's possible to see that just a trace of her facial structure shows up in, of all people, Beatrice.
Logged
Lady Alice

Gigantic Member
*********

Reputation: 1195

Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 3793





Ignore
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2013, 02:52:47 AM »

Another interesting point I found in the biography was that the current King of Greece (Constantine II) preferred his Aunt Elena (the mother of Princess Marina) to his Aunt Alice.  I guess it was only until his exile that he tried to do more to latch himself to the BRF. 

It probably had to do more with the blatant snobbishness of Tino's mother, Frederika. She was as bad as her grandfather, the Kaiser, when it came to blue blood, and Elena, nee Grand Duchess of Russia, had not blue, but imperial purple blood compared to Alice's tainted morganatic Battenberg strain. There's a quote out there about how she exhorted her children to marry up, but I can't remember what it is now.

Tino's loyalties switched once he was dethroned. Interesting, isn't it?

PS - yeah, because it is an authorized biography, it is whitewashed a bit. Plus, it repeated a lot of stuff that was already out there. But as there hadn't been a biography on Alice yet, who are we to complain? At least it outlines what happened to Alice in those mysterious years, and really tells schizophrenic she had been.
Logged

winterrose

Baby Member
*

Reputation: 17

Offline Offline

Canada Canada

Posts: 65





Ignore
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2013, 03:10:54 AM »

Another interesting point I found in the biography was that the current King of Greece (Constantine II) preferred his Aunt Elena (the mother of Princess Marina) to his Aunt Alice.  I guess it was only until his exile that he tried to do more to latch himself to the BRF. 

It probably had to do more with the blatant snobbishness of Tino's mother, Frederika. She was as bad as her grandfather, the Kaiser, when it came to blue blood, and Elena, nee Grand Duchess of Russia, had not blue, but imperial purple blood compared to Alice's tainted morganatic Battenberg strain. There's a quote out there about how she exhorted her children to marry up, but I can't remember what it is now.

Tino's loyalties switched once he was dethroned. Interesting, isn't it?

PS - yeah, because it is an authorized biography, it is whitewashed a bit. Plus, it repeated a lot of stuff that was already out there. But as there hadn't been a biography on Alice yet, who are we to complain? At least it outlines what happened to Alice in those mysterious years, and really tells schizophrenic she had been.

Totally makes sense about Frederika's snobbery, imperial Elena, and morganatic Alice.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to: